More designers are adhering to the new Restrictions on Hazardous Substances (RoHS) and Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (WEEE) directives mandating lead-free design. Now along comes a pc-board-design package to support their efforts. Among other enhancements, version 8 of Zuken's Cadstar package supports lead-free soldering as well as lead-free component selection.
Various usability enhancements are included, such as the ability to rotate pin names and numbers within schematic symbols. Pin labels also can be assigned in the component libraries. Users can justify multiline text, and text can be aligned and rotated.
There's support for making electrical connections with jumpers, which can be added on the fly (as with vias). Also supported are rounded-rectangle pads, which improves lead-free soldering processes.
Thanks to the addition of a new technology called "trunking," auto-interactive routing is more efficient. Trunks address issues associated with handling different routes, buses, or differential pairs collectively as one entity. As a result, users can quickly sketch routes and manipulate collections of signal lines as a group. All interconnects at the end of a trunked group of signal lines are handled concurrently.
Signal-integrity concerns are made simpler in Cadstar 8.0. An accurate finite element method (FEM) field solver analyzes frequency-dependent losses and proximity effects on strong couplings. Eye-diagram generation is available for eye-mask verification and for analyses based on multibit sequence stimuli.
Available in mid-November, Cadstar 8.0 module prices start at $1000 each.